Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Circa 2003
   Here was the game plan according to me:  Roger would meet me July 2nd at the Linden Ponds Welcome Center after I had my interview with the health committee person.
       During this physical and mental checkup I demonstrated that I could walk from the chair I was sitting in to another chair, sit down, stand up again, remember the three words she had told me to remember ten minutes earlier: "book, car, potato."  See? I still remember them. I knew she had interviewed Roger a couple of weeks earlier, so I told her he was meeting me here and we were going to lunch and a movie. She smiled and said,. “Why, he’s a dear. Jane [finances committee] and I both thought so.”
     When Roger arrived, I noted that he was a gentleman of the old school.  He held the door for me when we exited.the Welcome Center; he held the door of my car.  Then he held the door of his car, passenger side, after rolling down his window and suggesting I join him in his vehicle.  His vehicle is worthy of special mention, a white Chrysler with black leather interior, five years old but not looking it, any more than he looks sixty-eight.  (I checked him on the Internet.)
     My idea of what we’d do next was to go to nearby Hearth & Kettle for an inexpensive light meal, Dutch treat.  Roger’s idea was that we'd go to the elegant Hingham Bay Club, across the harbor from my apartment at Weymouthport.  He would then drive me back to my car, so I could follow him to East Bridgewater, where Fahrenheit was playing. 
     I had lobster bisque, he had something more substantial.  As we took in the view of myriad boats crowding multiple slips in Weymouthport's harbor, Roger said, “If you had a couple of pontoons you could skate over to your front yard.”  
     "Fifty years ago I could have swum there," I said.
     He paid no attention to my Dutch treat insistence, so I said okay, I’ll buy the theater tickets.  With Roger again opening any doors encountered, we left the restaurant. He drove us back to the Welcome Center, where I transferred to my car with my attentive escort at my elbow. 
     I rolled down the window and said, “Unaccustomed as I am, this is all very nice, Roger, but I know human nature.  Ten years from now, you’ll be letting me open my own doors.”
     I followed him to the East Bridgewater mall, and since we were early for the movie, we stopped at an open air ice cream shop where a medium size cone cost $2.35.  My God, since WHEN?  I had to ask for a bowl to upend the strawberry cone into because it was easily half a pint.  That repast would have me dozing through the first half hour of the movie.  But we had more time to kill, so I followed Roger to the mall where there was an Ocean State discount house.  I went in to pick out greeting cards, Roger went to the theater behind Ocean State and bought our tickets.  He’s a difficult man when it comes to Dutch treating.
     After I woke from my doze, I began thinking about my first date some thirty years ago with my soon-to-be lover, Jack.  He had kept me laughing all through our drive to the Braintree Cinema.  I was so turned on that as soon as we were settled in our seats, I reached over and took his hand.  At that point, coinciding with this memory, Roger reached over and took my hand.  Unfortunately this happened just before the chorus began singing the Mother Fucker song.  It wasn’t exactly like holding hands and watching “My Fair Lady,” but we maintained our cool like grown-up people.  Finally Roger unhanded me—I think my elbow was digging into his ribs—and soon after that we were walking back to our cars.  He said, “Come on over to my car and get in for a few minutes.”  I did so but said, “Why am I doing this?”
     He explained that he was going up to New Hampshire for ten days but wanted to see me when he got back.  “I like you,” he said.  (While he was away I would mentally replay that sentence a few times.)  Roger reminded me that Linden Ponds had scheduled a luncheon at the Atlantica restaurant in Cohasset.  He didn’t know how to get there, so why not let him pick me up, and I could show him the way. 
     “I was planning to draw you a map.” I said.  Roger gently persisted.  I tried to explain my reasons for thinking I should draw him a map.  In a few months, we might be neighbors at Linden Ponds.  We could renew our friendship then.  I didn’t tell him I was recalling what my sister had said when she moved to 1000 Southern Artery’s senior housing in Quincy.  “I hope I won’t find faithful old Ray sitting outside my door every day like a potted plant.”
     “All right,” Roger said mildly, “draw me a map.”  I came to my senses and said, “No.  I want you to pick me up.  I’d love to show you what they’ve been doing to the landscaping at Weymouthport.”

[7-3-13] Roger and I still send each other birthday cards, but that's it.  I'm pushing ninety-two now and feel fortunate to be getting any attention at all from a former swain.]
[10-8-13] Roger doesn't know it yet but I'm moving to Linden Ponds. Have to sell my condo first.  Realtor Sally Marr was here today to work on reducing clutter and making the rooms look less lived in for four decades.  I didn't tell her what I did in preparation for her visit. 
      At midnight last night I was tugging on the drawer of my bedside cabinet after having fore-sightedly filled it with the clutter of medications on  top, along with other paraphernalia like skin-softener.  I wanted to be sure I could still open it.  I could not.  Huffing and puffing in vain, I thought, boy, I'll bet neither of my sons could open this without a hatchet.  What was I going to do?
     Here's what I did:  I first piled up a couple of comforters against the wall a few feet away in order to protect it.  Sally wouldn't be happy if the wall was damaged. Then I embraced the cabinet and tilted it sideways, shaking it in hopes that the blocked contents would settle down.  Heavy work in the middle of the night but the drawer did open an inch or so. Now I poked the edge of my dustpan into the opening and used it as an unblocker.  Success! 
      We're having an Open House next Sunday.

     I moved to Linden Ponds on November 7, 2013.


  1. Hi again, dear friend Barbara =)

    Well, I read this page:

    But didn't see a place to comment. Is there a secret password?

    Love n hugs always,


    1. Dear much appreciated friend and loyal fan of my mother's poetry -- somehow you managed to make the above comment successfully in the space provided for it. I'm always happy to hear from you and no, you don't need a secret password.
      Love n hugs back to you, my dear Rhapsody.